Azad Hawlader was going to his village home in Jhalakathi from Dhaka along with his family to celebrate Eid. On the way, they faced a road accident, and he and his wife had to be taken to a hospital on Saturday.
A car carrying them hit a roadside tree as its driver tried to save a three-wheeler, on Barishal-Khulna highway in Jhalakathi’s Bagri area -- around 2km away from their destination.
Critically injured Azad and his wife are undergoing treatment at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barishal. They will have to stay hospitalised for a week, he told The Daily Star.
Like the three-wheeler, hundreds of unauthorised vehicles including battery-run auto-rickshaw and locally-improvised nosimon and korimon ply highways, causing frequent road accidents, say bus, truck and car drivers in Barishal city.
“These slow-moving vehicles are the main obstacle to free movement of high-speed buses, trucks, cars and so on,” said Arifur Rahman, a car driver.
Alamin, a bus driver at the city’s Nathullabad terminal, said, “Drivers of the unauthorised vehicles are unskilled and they are unaware of traffic rules.”
“The number of road accidents may increase on highways if operation of such vehicles cannot be controlled during Eid rush,” he added.
“One time, a battery-run auto-rickshaw suddenly took a turn without any signal and eventually was hit my car on Barishal-Khulna highway in Kalijira of Barishal,” said Alamin. Five people were injured in that accident.
“We are conducting mobile courts on various highways to check the illegal vehicles,” said Debashis Biswash, assistant director of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Barishal circle.
Saiful Islam, superintendent of police in the district, said, “We have set up check posts at different spots on highways so that unauthorised vehicles can’t ply during Eid.”